Author Archives: Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

Adults 55+ Join us for “Appy Hour”

Attend a free training

Do you use technology?

“Appy Hours” are basic 101 training’s on using smart phones and tablets for downloading apps, navigating phones/tablets, going to the app stores, and downloading an app.

Bring your smart phone, tablet, or laptop or come without devices.

Click the links below for more info on each session.

San Mateo location

Monday, October 21, 12pm-1pm
Monday, November 18, 12pm-1pm

San Mateo County Pride Center
1021 S. El Camino Real, San Mateo
(Lunch provided)

East Palo Alto location

(flyer in English and Spanish)
Monday, October 21, 3pm-4pm
The Barbara A. Mouton Multicultural Wellness Center (upstairs)
903 Weeks St., East Palo Alto
(Light refreshments served)

RSVP before Oct. 18 and Nov. 15
Sign up with Arlene Aquino
(650) 403-4200 Ext. 4327
aaquino@peninsulafamilyservice.org


Having difficulty hearing or seeing your smartphone?

Attend a free training

Make your Android or iPhone work better for you!
Learn how to:

  • Make your smartphone louder and easier to hear
  • Send text messages
  • Connect Bluetooth devices
  • Operate the basic functions on your smartphone and much more!

Click the links below for more info on each session. 
iPhone users: Friday, October 25th, 10am-12pm
Android users: Wednesday, October 30, 10am-12pm

Where: 24 Second Ave., San Mateo-Peninsula Family Service

Seating is limited — sign up with Arlene Aquino
Call: (650) 403-4200 Ext. 4327, Email: aaquino@peninsulafamilyservice.org

Housing Heroes Awards – October 24

Ingrid Dela Rosa accepts award and commendations from Alex Kobayashi and Lee Harrison (2018)

The 12th Annual Housing Hero Awards celebration recognizes community partners who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in providing and/or maintaining housing for people in San Mateo County with mental health and/or substance use conditions. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, October 24, 2019, 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM, Redwood Shores Library Community Room, 399 Marine Parkway, Redwood City. 

Download the flier for details.  


David Lewis Garden Back in Bloom

The garden at the David Lewis Reentry Center is back in full operation after a temporary hiatus. New funding sources and dedicated volunteers made re-opening the garden to the public possible this past spring.

The center has long been a refuge for East Palo Alto community members coming home from prison. The gardening project allows them an opportunity to reconnect with their community and nature.

Seasonal vegetables and fruits are growing in abundance and are available for community members.

Read more about the garden on Wellness Matters.

Women’s Treatment Facility Transitions to Serve Only Men

As of June 3rd, Laurel House, a program of HealthRIGHT 360, began serving adult men in need of residential substance use treatment services in San Mateo County.  

Laurel House was the first home opened by the Women’s Recovery Association in 1973 and originally its mission was to treat only women.

Laurel House

The transition to now serve men is a remarkable accomplishment and a testament to HealthRIGHT’s commitment to the entire community and its partners.

The transition occurred mainly to address the recovery needs of men, ease the backlog of clients waiting to access residential care, and fill the growing number of women’s beds that have consistently remained empty system wide since the implementation of Drug Medi-Cal in 2017.  

Read the full article here

An Inside Look: StarVista Crisis Center Hotline

One of San Mateo County’s most used suicide prevention resources, and part of  StarVista’s Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Center, is a suicide crisis hotline that operates 24-hour-a-day, 365 days per year.

Call center staff field calls from county residents in emotional distress, dealing with depression, experiencing feelings of being overwhelmed, anxiety and those having thoughts of suicide. 

More than 11,000 calls were answered last year alone, an amazing accomplishment considering that the call center is comprised of a single desk staffed by just one person per shift who juggles multiple call.

In the most recent issue of the BHRS newsletter, “Wellness Matters”, a call center counselor shares an inside look into the crisis counseling experience as well as his own story of recovery. You can find that article by clicking here.

Medication Assisted Treatment Helping More People with Opioid Addiction

As the opioid epidemic continues to have a negative impact across the country, San Mateo County is responding to the challenge by strengthening existing programs and creating new resources to deal with the crisis.

This includes the creation of the Integrated Medication Assisted Treatment (IMAT) program. The IMAT effort consists a team of case managers embedded within San Mateo Medical Center’s Emergency Department and the Primary Care Interface team. In addition, the County opened their first addiction medicine clinic, the San Mateo Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Clinic in 2016.   

In the fall of 2017, the clinic expanded their outreach and engagement efforts to serve those with opioid use disorders (OUD) and has seen a significant increase in the number of patients treated. The increase can be attributed to the county-wide effort and commitment to expand access to care which includes a new protocol established at the San Mateo Medical Center’s Emergency Department earlier this year resulting in patients receiving care sooner, extended service offerings at the MAT clinic- including patient walk in hours, and increasing the number for providers who can prescribe buprenorphine.

To read more about IMAT and other efforts the county is making to expand access to medication assisted treatment click here.

Clara Boyden Named as Deputy Director Alcohol & Other Drug Services 

Clara Boyden has been named to serve as the first Deputy Director for BHRS Alcohol & Other Drug (AOD) Services. 

AOD programs and services are critical to meet the needs of the BHRS community and this is a significant step in providing integrated behavioral health service at all levels. 

Clara first joined the County of San Mateo in 1998 in the Health Department’s Tobacco Prevention Program in the Health Education Unit.  Since then, Clara she has held a number of roles within Health and the Human Services Agency (HSA), including HSA’s Planning and Evaluation Unit.   

Clara is a tireless advocate for individuals struggling with substance use disorders and people in recovery.  Read more about Clara in this “Wellness Matters” article.

Don’t Miss the Most Popular Recovery Month Event

San Mateo County “Recovery Happens” committee members have been hard at work planning events throughout the month of September to celebrate and call attention to the importance of Recovery.

This year’s theme: “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger” highlights the need to share resources and build stronger networks across the country to support the many paths to recovery. 

Recovery BBQ Picnic (2016)

The variety of events have grown over the years and continue to gain momentum.

Don’t miss one of the most popular events coming up next week on Tuesday, September 24th!

BBQ Picnic and Resource Fair
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
San Mateo Central Park, 50 E. 5th Ave., San Mateo

Visit the Facebook page or download the event flier.  Learn more about Recovery Month.

Connecting Those in Need to Treatment Services

During this 30th anniversary of Recovery Month, communities across the nation are reflecting on their positive strides and plans to make recovery support services more accessible so that people can live meaningful and productive lives. Over the years, recovery-oriented organizations have also played an essential role in states, cities, towns, and neighborhoods to help countless people start and sustain their recovery.

Specifically here, in San Mateo County, there are numerous treatment options and recovery pathways for those dealing with mental and substance use disorders.

Each recovery journey is unique. If you, a family member, or a friend needs help, resources are available. You are not alone.

Click here for a list of local mental health and substance use recovery resources.

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